Braves, Tigers Swap Lefty Relievers




The Deal
The Tigers traded Wil Ledezma to the Braves for Macay McBride in a swap of lefthanders.
The Big Leaguers
Signed out of Venezuela by the Red Sox in 1998, Ledezma came to the Tigers via the 2002 major league Rule 5 draft. The 26-year-old lefty offers low- to mid-90s velocity and a hard curveball. Though Ledezma struggled to stay healthy in the minors--a stress fracture kept him out from late July 2000 to April 2002--he's been durable for the Tigers, appearing in 106 games and going 15-18, 5.15 with 171 strikeouts and 126 walks in 283 innings.

McBride, 24, once drew comparisons with Billy Wagner for his potent fastball/slider combo--he led the Carolina League in strikeouts in 2003--but he has struggled with his control in the upper minors and in the majors. The Braves' first-round pick in 2001 out of a Sylvania, Ga., high school, McBride has walked 54 batters in 85 2/3 big league innings--or 5.67 per nine.
Quick Take
In Ledezma, the Braves acquired a power lefty arm to replace Mike Gonzalez in their bullpen, while the Tigers gain roster flexibility with McBride, who can still be optioned to the minors. The Braves may also look to stretch Ledezma out as a starter, his role in the minors, and a role in which he's gone 8-13, 5.56 in 33 starts in the majors. And if McBride rediscovers the changeup that aided his success in the low minors, he could develop into more than a lefty specialist for the Tigers.